Setting Up, Selling and Redeeming Gift Vouchers

Nicola Grant
Nicola Grant
  • Updated

Gift Vouchers are a great way for you to offer upsells and encourage loyalty by allowing customers to purchase Account Credit on your system as a gift for someone else. They can be sold and redeemed both online and through the box office without having to use standalone merchandise items, meaning it’s easy for you to see when they’re purchased and to report on what people buy with the credit their gift voucher gives them.

Each voucher produced contains a unique code that, once redeemed, is changed to credit on a customer’s account. The customer can then use this credit however they wish, including across multiple transactions.

Gift Vouchers can either be physically printed as tickets or sent by email to the purchaser or the recipient. When sent by email, customers have the option to choose a specific date, such as a birthday, on which to send it. Expiry dates can also be set on the voucher to ensure it is used within a set number of months from the date of receipt.

In this article, we’re going to look at how to set up Gift Vouchers on your system, as well as how to sell and redeem them online and through the Sales Interface. Here’s everything that’s covered:

Setting up Gift Vouchers

Gift Vouchers will normally have been switched on when your system went live - you should be able to see the Gift Vouchers option in the Sales Interface under Other. If you can’t see this option, you’ll need to contact the Spektrix Support team to turn on Gift Voucher sales and provide the following information:

  • The maximum gift voucher value that you want to be sold
  • The email address that you want vouchers to be sent from

Once the Support team have confirmed they’ve switched Gift Voucher sales on, you can set some extra limits in the Settings Interface under Configuration > System Setup > Credits & Commissions.

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From here you can specify:

  • The default limit (in months) that the voucher can be sent after the purchase date
  • The default expiry time (in months) for Gift Vouchers and Account Credit

NOTE: the expiry date will always be relative to the date the Gift Voucher is sent, rather than the date it was purchased.

To sell Gift Vouchers online, you’ll need to ask you web developer to either add a Gift Voucher Web Component to your website, or use the Gift Voucher iframe, which will require its own dedicated page on your site. Here are some quick resources to help you understand what’s involved in both of these approaches:

Setting up document designs
Depending on whether you want to be able to print your Gift Vouchers as physical tickets and/or send them as emails, you’ll need to do one or both of the following:

  • Create a new Gift Voucher ticket design for physical vouchers
  • Create a Gift Voucher Email Template for voucher emails

You can do both of these things in the Admin Interface under Document Designs > Gifts, where you’ll see various options as illustrated in the screenshot below.

 

Gift Designs
This section allows you to create dedicated ticket designs for both Gift Vouchers and Gift Memberships - for more information on Gift Memberships see this article.

If you don’t yet have a Gift Voucher ticket design you'll see an Add button which will allow you to create a new one; otherwise you’ll see Edit and Download buttons for your existing ticket design. See this Ticket Design Tool article for details of how to create and edit your ticket design.

Once your ticket design is ready, you’ll be able to print Gift Vouchers in the same way as you do tickets.

 

Gift Emails
If you want to, you can use the standard, plain text version of your Gift Voucher email (as well as for your Gift Membership email); alternatively, you can create a custom HTML template to match your organisation’s usual email style.

As with any email template, it’s a good idea to test that the HTML voucher acts as expected once sent. Before you start selling your Gift Vouchers, we’d recommend test purchasing a voucher and having it delivered to your email address.

Whether you’re using plain text or HTML, you can include the following merge fields in the email to pull through information from Spektrix into the body of the email:

  • {ToName}: the name of the Gift Voucher recipient
  • {FromName}: the name of the customer who purchased the Gift Voucher
  • {Amount}: the value of the Gift Voucher
  • {VoucherCode}: the unique Gift Voucher code
  • {Message}: the full text of the message to the recipient
  • {ExpiryDate}: the date on which the voucher will expire and no longer be valid

You can use some or all of these fields in the email - just add them into the template as shown above, including the {} brackets. Each time a Gift Voucher email is generated, it will pull through the relevant information from the order in question.

See the section below for more information on how these fields are populated for each voucher.

Selling Gift Vouchers

Once Gift Vouchers are fully set up on your system, you can sell them both in the Sales Interface and online. The process is largely the same, so we’ll go through how it works in the Sales Interface first before quickly looking at the online process too.

 

In the box office
To start selling your Gift Vouchers in the Sales Interface, navigate to Other > Gift Vouchers where you’ll see a variety of fields to complete before adding a voucher to the basket.

Note that the Gift drop-down allows you to choose either a Gift Voucher or a Gift Membership – in this article we’re only looking at vouchers, but you can read more about Gift Memberships here.

The fields to complete for each voucher are as follows:

  • Value: this can be any amount up to the maximum value that was set when the Gift Voucher functionality was set up
  • Send to: three options for how the customer wants the voucher to be distributed. Vouchers sent via email will be sent immediately upon confirmation of the transaction unless the Date to send is changed
    • Print gift voucher: send the voucher straight to a ticket printer there and then
    • Send to purchaser: send the voucher to the email address attached to the purchaser’s Customer Record
    • Send to recipient: send the voucher to an email address for the recipient - selecting this option makes the following free text field available, to add the appropriate email address
  • Date to send: this defaults to the current day, but you can change it to any other date. The voucher’s expiry date will be based on whatever date is selected here
  • To and From: the names of the sender and the recipient, which will be included  on the ticket or email if the appropriate field has been included in their design
  • Message: an optional message which will appear on the email, or on the ticket if that field has been included in their design

All of these fields are mandatory (as you can see by the red line in front of each one). Once the fields have been completed, click the blue Add to basket button to add the voucher into the basket on the right hand side of the screen, after which you can continue with the transaction as normal.

NOTE: you’ll need to add a customer to the basket before selecting a Gift Voucher in order to send it by email. Without a customer in the basket, you’ll still be able to purchase a Gift Voucher, but will only have the option to print it.

 

Online
There are two ways in which you can sell Gift Vouchers online – using the Gift Vouchers iframe, or the Gift Voucher Web Component. Read this article for more information on the Gift Voucher Web Component – in short, it’s a way of adding voucher upsells anywhere on your site, rather than relying on only a single Gift Voucher page.

Whether in the iframe or a Web Component, the process for buying Gift Vouchers online is very similar to the Sales Interface. Customers will need to complete the same fields as your box office team do, with the only difference being that there is no option to print the voucher. Here’s an example of how the Gift Voucher iframe can look online:

Clicking the Add to Basket button takes the customer to their basket, from where they can confirm their order, add another voucher into the basket, or continue to browse your website.

 

Redeeming Gift Vouchers

Once a Gift Voucher has been sold, and a customer has the unique voucher code, it can be redeemed either in the box office (via the Sales Interface) or online. We’ll look at each of these in turn, starting with the box office.

In the box office
Voucher codes can be redeemed in two places on the Sales Interface - you can redeem a voucher against a Customer Record to apply the credit directly to the customer’s account, or redeem the code during a transaction to use the credit immediately.

From within a Customer Record, in the Credit/Vouchers section, you can input the unique Gift Voucher code and click Redeem. This will add the value of the Gift Voucher to the customer’s account as Account Credit.

During a transaction, you can select Use customer’s credit / vouchers on the Credit, Deposit & Vouchers tab in the Payments section of the basket.

Clicking this option will bring up a Credit/Voucher Payment popup, in which you can enter the voucher code and choose how much of the voucher’s value to use towards the transaction.

In the Quick tab, enter the unique voucher code, and click Redeem Now. The Amount you choose doesn’t have to be the Voucher’s full value; any remaining balance will be added to the customer’s account as Account Credit. You can add an optional reference before clicking Confirm, then carry on with processing the transaction as usual.

NOTE: if the customer already has credit on their account, it will show up against the Account Balance field on this popup. You can either redeem the voucher now to add further credit, or use the existing credit to pay for the transaction.

Using the Advanced tab will allow you to choose which voucher to use if the customer has more than one, and to split the payment across these vouchers.

 

Online
Online customers can redeem and spend their Gift Vouchers when checking out. At the Payment stage of an order, they’ll be given the options to either enter a voucher code if they have one, or use existing account credit:

To redeem a voucher, a customer just needs to enter the unique code for the Gift Voucher and press the Redeem button. The value of the voucher will then automatically be used as payment for their transaction, or part payment if the value is less than the order value. Any remaining balance will be added to their account as Account Credit.

By switching on the option to Display “My Account Credit” section on your website in the Settings Interface under Configuration > System Setup > Website, customers will be able to log in to their account to see when any Gift Vouchers they've redeemed were issued, when they expire, and how much of their total value they’ve already used. They’ll also be able to keep track of any Account Credit they hold here:

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Frequently asked questions

If you have any questions about using Gift Vouchers, check these FAQs as a first port of call:

Can I extend Gift Vouchers once they’ve been sold?
Gift Vouchers’ expiry dates can’t be extended beyond the default length of time they were sold for, and they can’t be reissued like Memberships. However, as long a voucher is still valid, it can be used to buy a new voucher with a new expiry date.

If a voucher has expired but you still want to honour it, you’ll need to use a Custom Payment Type to purchase another Gift Voucher or credit the customer’s account.

 

What if a customer wants a refund on a Gift Voucher?
Gift Voucher purchases are stored in customers’ order histories in the same way as tickets and other items, and they can be refunded or exchanged in the same way – as long as they haven’t yet been redeemed. Once redeemed, vouchers can’t be refunded; if you want to honour a refund, as with the previous question you’ll need to use a Custom Payment Type to purchase another Gift Voucher or credit the customer’s account.

 

What happens to the Expiry Date on a voucher once it is redeemed to Account Credit?

Account credit that has been redeemed by a customer via a Gift Voucher will follow the Gift Voucher expiry rule. If you wish to extend the Gift Voucher to match your Account Credit expiry rule, you will need to re-purchase the Account Credit by crediting the customer account, then using the Gift Voucher credit to balance the order. Gift Voucher and Account Credit expiry rules can be configured via Settings > Configuration > System Setup > Credits & Commissions

Further reading

If you would like to know more about Gift Vouchers and related functionality, we would recommend reading the following articles:

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Please don’t hesitate to get in touch with the Spektrix Support team if you’d like to discuss anything about Gift Vouchers in more detail.

 

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